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GPS Adventures Exhibit is Informative and Entertaining

This weekend,Dana and I drove down to Bridgeport,Ct. to taking in the GPS Adventures exhibit at the Discovery Museum.  This is first traveling exhibit we’ve seen that’s all about geocaching,and it has a lot to offer.  From the history of navigation through the future of GPS,the 2500 ft.² display covers a wide range of topics ranging from the history of navigation through the future of geolocation.

Among them:

  • How triangulation works with satellite signals;
  • Why signals sometimes get scrambled or confused and what to do about it;
  • Essential items to carry on geocaching adventures;
  • The existence and role of the National Space-Based Positioning Navigation &Timing Committee;
  • How a sextant works;p
  • What “augmented reality” means;and
  • That only about 10% of the benchmarks laid by the US National Geodetic Survey have been found and logged on geocaching.com.

The exhibit is full of interesting trivia. Did you know,for example,that the Space Needle in Seattle was “moved” 312 feet to the southwest in 1987 because satellites revealed that the structure had been mapped in the wrong place for 26 years?

The exhibit uses an innovative maze format from MinotaurMaze Exhibits.  This space-efficient design uses lightweight pipe-and-drape materials and a maze format to deliver the most space-efficient museum exhibit I’ve ever seen.  Almost no space is wasted and the maze design accommodates a large number of people without feeling crowded.

The GPS Adventures exhibit embeds geocach searches into the exhibit navigation.  The finds are all easy,of course,but they incorporate the standard equipment such as log books,swag,ammo cases and geocoins. They offer a good orientation to the sport. At times,the promotion for technology sponsors Trimble and Magellan is a bit over the top,but those companies deserve the geocaching community’s gratitude for making the exhibit possible. The Bridgeport Discovery Museum was also not the ideal venue for the exhibit,which had to be squeezed into three dark rooms. But kudos to the museum for hosting such an interesting display. No word on where the exhibit will turn up next.

Museum-goers stamped this game card as they found each cache in the exhibit. At the end,the card could be matched to coordinates to identify a major world capitol.

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